Sunset Country Club first opened for play in 1928. The course was designed by George Wilkie.
Sunset Country Club measurse 6,403 yards and is a par 72 layout . The course rating is 68.7 and the slope rating is 109. The course is known for its fast speed of play. The most demanding hole, nicknamed the "volcano hole," is #4, a 392-yard, par 4, requiring an approach shot to a green located atop a mound on the side of a hill. The small greens require accurate approach shots or an excellent short game.
Sunset Country Club closed in 2009.
Sunset Country Club had been a fixture of Bartlesville for over 70 years, described by those who were familiar with it as having a laid back, family golfing and recreational atmosphere... The friendly atmosphere was what made the 150-acre property, located near the Bartlesville Municipal Airport, so special to its former patrons.
Dwindling memberships and rising maintenance costs combined with other factors to create too much of a strain on its owners to keep it going. "When you're spending a lot more money than you're raking in, at some point in time, you gotta say enough is enough," said Harold Bredthauer, who managed the course - alongside his wife, Joy - for over a decade. "The play got to where we couldn't keep it afloat. It was about five or six years ago when it started going down the tubes," he said. "Times have changed."
By 2007, Bredthauer had put Sunset on the market. In 2008 the City of Bartlesville closed a $980,000 deal to purchase the property that had been a golf course since 1928 - when George Wilkie built a three-hole course to practice on.
Wilkie eventually built more holes - when neighbors found out and wanted to join in - and by 1947 had opened an 18-hole country club.
That land, rich with tradition and memories, will now be used for an industrial park - something that most of Sunset's former patrons realize will be a good thing for the city, despite their sadness for the fallen landmark. It was always different from Hillcrest Country Club , a more exclusive place that fewer can afford to play at, or Adams Municipal Golf Course. It became open to more people when Bredthauer took ownership from the Wilkie family in the late 1990s and soon made it accessible to the public.
"Over the years it's been great," Bredthauer said. "We had a lot of fun out here early on. As things started going down hill, we had less and less participation. It just kinda died on the vine."
Adams and Hillcrest may be the only two golf courses in town now, but for those who partook in the magic of Sunset through the years, its impact on the city won't soon be forgotten.
(cart included), played on Sunday, January 2011 at 6am
Sunset Country Club in Barlesville, Oklahoma closed in 2009.
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